Nearly Fifty Percent of Australian Workers Are Stressed as Workplace Bullying Persists

The workplace landscape in Australia is currently marked by a significant level of stress among employees, with nearly half of the workforce reporting high stress levels. This alarming trend is closely linked to the persistence of workplace bullying, as revealed by recent findings from the Gallup report on the State of the Global Workplace. The report highlights critical issues that Australian workers face and underscores the urgent need for effective interventions to foster healthier work environments.

The State of Stress Among Australian Workers

According to the Gallup report, approximately 45% of Australian workers experience significant stress on a daily basis. This places Australia among the countries with the highest levels of workplace stress globally. The data reveals several key insights into the factors contributing to this pervasive stress:

  • Workplace Bullying: A substantial number of employees report being subjected to bullying and harassment at work, which significantly contributes to their stress levels.


  • Job Insecurity: Many workers are anxious about job security and the stability of their employment, exacerbating their stress.


  • Work-Life Balance: The challenge of maintaining a healthy balance between work responsibilities and personal life is a common stressor for Australian employees.


  • Workload: High workloads and unrealistic expectations from employers add to the pressure felt by workers.

The Impact of Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying is identified as a major factor driving the high stress levels among Australian workers. Bullying can manifest in various forms, including verbal abuse, intimidation, exclusion, and other forms of psychological harassment. The implications of such negative behaviours are far-reaching and detrimental to both individuals and organizations:

  • Mental Health: Victims of workplace bullying often suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

  •  Productivity: High stress and bullying can lead to decreased productivity, as employees struggle to focus and perform optimally.


  • Turnover Rates: Organizations with prevalent bullying issues may experience higher turnover rates, as employees leave in search of safer, more supportive work environments.


  • Employee Engagement: Bullying erodes trust and morale, leading to disengagement and reduced commitment to the organization.

Case Study: Bullying in the Australian Workplace

A detailed look at specific cases within Australian workplaces illustrates the profound impact of bullying. For instance, a survey conducted by the Australian Human Rights Commission found that 71% of respondents who had been bullied reported feeling stressed, while 55% felt anxious, and 36% experienced depression. These statistics underscore the severe consequences of workplace bullying on employees’ well-being.

Addressing the Issue

To combat the high levels of stress and bullying in the workplace, several measures can be implemented:

  • Anti-Bullying Policies: Establishing clear policies that define and prohibit bullying behaviour is crucial. These policies should outline the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints.


  • Training and Awareness: Regular training sessions for employees and management can help raise awareness about the signs of bullying and the importance of maintaining a respectful workplace culture.


  • Support Systems: Providing access to counselling and support services can help employees cope with stress and bullying. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are an effective resource.


  • Leadership Commitment: Leaders and managers play a pivotal role in fostering a positive work environment. They should lead by example, demonstrating respectful behaviour and swiftly addressing any instances of bullying.


  • Regular Surveys and Feedback: Conducting anonymous surveys and encouraging open feedback can help organizations identify problem areas and monitor the effectiveness of their anti-bullying initiatives.

Moving Forward

The persistence of workplace bullying and the resultant high stress levels among Australian workers highlight a critical issue that requires immediate and sustained attention. Employers must recognize the importance of creating a safe and supportive work environment where employees can thrive without fear of harassment. By implementing comprehensive anti-bullying strategies and promoting mental well-being, organizations can enhance employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall workplace harmony.


The findings from the Gallup report serve as a wake-up call for Australian employers. The high levels of stress and the prevalence of workplace bullying are not only detrimental to employees’ health but also to the overall success of businesses. Addressing these issues through robust policies, supportive measures, and a commitment to fostering a positive work culture is essential for the well-being of the workforce and the prosperity of organizations.

For more detailed information, you can access the full Gallup report here.

If workplace bullying is an issue for your workplace, and you need an independent workplace investigation to determine who best to move forward contact Jolasers Investigations for a free consulation.

Call Stephen Oliver on 0418 101 164

Workplace Investigation Melbourne

Ballarat Workplace Investigations